Remembering Uzza

If Islam Was Explained to Me in a Pub

What Do Hypocrites Have to Do with It?

UzzaArchie: What the hell are true unbelievers?

Uzza: Who are true unbelievers? They are those who favour what Allah calls “a middle course”; who do not believe everything that He revealed to Muhammad.

Archie: In other words, heretics.

Uzza: A mild form of heresy. But Allah is not, to paraphrase the second Bush president, a nuanced type of god; it is “a demeaning punishment” for all.

Archie: I can understand heretics becoming a target − every religion has them, and Islam by the ton when you consider that the Sunni and Shias are heretics to one another − but reformers? I thought Islam could not be reformed.

Uzza: It cannot. You would have to begin with the abolition of the abomination that is slavery, which you cannot because Islam, as a religion, would fall apart.

 Archie: And that would be a bad thing?

Uzza: Have you ever wondered why aid workers, like the nurses vaccinating children against polio in Pakistan, are often the target of Islamists?

Archie: Are you asking me?

Uzza: You, Bob, Gerry, Ted and Alice; it does not matter?

Gerry: I think we all have at one time or another. What is that all about?

Uzza: Allah warned that the true unbelievers do good deeds with the intent of corrupting you; that these do-gooders are actually reformers and reformers are evildoers[327].

Archie: And I thought “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” was just an expression.

Gerry: From what I remember from reading the Koran, those accused of corrupting the land are “to be killed, crucified, have their hands and feet cut off on opposite sides” − not necessarily in that order.

Uzza: Yes, but slavery is always an option, except perhaps for some young people and hypocrites. Muhammad said that many of these evildoers, when Judgment Day is near, will be “young people with foolish thoughts and ideas” and that they are to be killed on sigh[328].

 Archie: As if the believers needed another reason to kill people.

Bob: What about the hypocrites?

Uzza: The wives, daughters and young sons of hypocrites, as a group, after Islam is triumphant everywhere, will be the largest reservoir of potential slaves. The fathers, husbands and mothers accused of hypocrisy will be the source of much violence and an abundance of blood that will continue to flow in Allah’s Cause even when there are no non-Muslims left to convert or kill.

Bob: Why?

Uzza: Because every believer will, at one point in time, whether they realise it or not, cross the line into the swamp that is Allah’s definition of hypocrisy and become a candidate for murder, the decreed punishment for a hypocrite from a god set in his ways[329].

Bob: How does a believer cross over the line into hypocrisy?

Uzza: By making excuses to avoid fighting in Allah’s Cause[330], not saying their prayers with enough fervour indicating an open mind that must be shut permanently[331], not spending enough money in Allah’s Cause, indulging in small talk − “idle talk,” as Allah calls it − having some fun or simply enjoying some of the pleasures of this life when they should be praying, worshipping Allah or listening to preachers expounding on Allah’s compassionate and merciful nature.

Archie: Which is all the time?

Uzza: Pretty much[331]


[327] Narrated Ali:

I heard the Prophet saying, "In the last days (of the world) there will appear young people with foolish thoughts and ideas. They will give good talks, but they will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out of its game, their faith will not exceed their throats. So, wherever you find them, kill them, for there will be a reward for their killers on the Day of Resurrection."

Bukhari 61.577

[328] Believers who wish to reform their religion face an uphill battle and risk death at the hands of fellow believers for questioning orthodoxy.

2:8 There are some who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day;” but they are not real believers. 2:9 They seek to deceive Allah and the believers, but deceive none other than themselves, thought they are not aware of that. 2:10 In their hearts is a sickness; so Allah has increased their sickness. A painful punishment awaits them because of their lying.  2:11 And when they are told: “Do not sow mischief in the land”, they say: “We are only doing good.” 2:12 It is they who make mischief, but they are unaware of that.

In case the meaning of Allah’s words is not clear in Fakhry’s interpretation, a translation by Sheikh Muhammad Sarwar of Verses 2:11 and 2:12.

2:11 When they are told not to commit corruption in the land, they reply, "We are only reformers.” 2:12 They, certainly, are corrupt but do not realize it.

[329] 33:60 If the hypocrites, those in whose hearts is a sickness and those who spread lies in the city, do not desist, We will certainly urge you against them and then they will not dwell with you therein as neighbours but for a short time. 33:61 Accursed, wherever they are encountered they will be seized and slaughtered. 33:62 That is Allah’s way of dealing with those who have gone before, and you will never find any alteration of Allah’s Way.

[330] 167 And that He might know the hypocrites. When it was said to them: “Come, fight in the way of Allah or defend yourselves”, they replied: “If only we knew how to fight, we would have followed you.” On that day, they were closer to disbelief than to belief. They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts; and Allah knows best what they conceal!

[331] 4:142 Surely, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but Allah causes their deceit to backfire. And if they rise to perform the prayer, they rise lazily, trying to show off in public and they remember Allah but little. 4:143 Vacillating between the two (belief and disbelief), inclining neither to these nor to those (neither to the believers nor to the unbelievers); and whomever Allah leads astray, you will not find him a way out.

[332] "Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious." Ayatollah Khomeini